Arts Previews for June 23, 2017

Thursday, June 22, 2017
Absurdist existentialism

The Hampshire Shakespeare Company returns this weekend with another summer of performances on the outdoor stage at the Massachusetts Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies. This summer the company is taking on “Hamlet” as well as “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead,” the absurdist existentialist tragicomedy by Tom Stoppard that follows Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, two minor characters in the original “Hamlet.”

Performances begin with “Hamlet” on June 22 and “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern” on June 23 at 7 p.m. at 650 E Pleasant Street in Amherst. Tickets are $19 general and $17 for students. Picnicking is encouraged. In case of rain, performances are moved indoors. For tickets and later performance dates, visit hampshireshakespeare.com.

Crafts on the Common

Western Massachusetts’s Center for Human Development is back with its annual craft fair on the Amherst Town Common. Hailed as “one of the best-established and most well-respected craft fairs in New England” according to their website, the fair features over 100 exhibitors from all over the region with a wide variety of quality handmade crafts. The fair also includes live music, a silent auction, Nancy Jane’s catering and a sale of bargain-price used children’s books organized by author and illustrator Diane deGroat.

The fair will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 24 at 4 Boltwood Avenue in Amherst. Proceeds benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County.

Horticultural exploration

 Amherst Historical Society invites you to a self-guided tour of seven gardens. The tour is a fundraiser for the Society, whose mission is to connect the people of Amherst to the town’s history and culture.

The gardens will be open on Saturday, June 24 from 10 a.m to 4 p.m. at 67 Amity Street in Amherst. Tickets are available for purchase online at amhersthistory.org or in person at A. J. Hastings, Andrew’s Greenhouse and the Hadley Garden Center. Tickets are $25 general, $20 for members if purchased in advance, or $30 and $25 at the door.

Reading series

The Juniper Summer Writing Institute’s reading series will conclude this weekend. The program, hosted by UMass Amherst’s Master of Fine Arts for Poets and Writers, brings together writers of all levels to work closely with accomplished writers to hone their craft. This weekend, authors Timothy Donnelly, Rachel B. Glaser, Sam Michel, Camille Rankine, Stephen Graham Jones, Paul Lisicky and Harryette Mullen will read selections of their work across three different nights.

Readings will take place on Thursday, June 22, Friday, June 23 and Saturday, June 24. Each reading will begin at 7:30 p.m. in room 135 of the Integrated Sciences Building. Books will be available for purchase and the authors will be available for signings. For more information, including which days each author will read, visit umass.edu/juniperinstitute.